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If anyone ever told me in high school that I was going to be on the executive council of a sorority in a few years, I would’ve asked what planet they had just come from. I had never seen myself as being a sorority woman; I mean, we have definitely all heard the stereotypes – all sororities do is drink and party and never go to classes and are all blonde and boy-obsessed – and it is hard to ignore them.

I was hesitant to go through recruitment: it just didn’t seem like the place for me and my personality definitely didn’t seem like it would do well in that setting. I had a lot of friends who were going through as well and to be completely honest, I wanted to see what all of the houses looked like on the inside. So alas, I signed up and braced myself.

Recruitment was nothing like what I had expected, and at times it was nerve-wracking and stressful. Often I found myself wondering why I even made myself go through the process. My rho gams – basically our student recruitment advisors – assured me that I would find the right house – and more importantly that I would know when I did. I tried to reassure myself and finally came to the conclusion that I was going to continue.

My rho gams were more than right.

I found my house during philanthropy round. I connected personally to the cause. It was so strange, but I was finally excited about recruitment.

So I found where I wanted to go and eventually was offered a bid. This was another moment for me, when I struggled with whether or not it was what I really wanted. Did I really feel like listening to what my friends and family may say about sorority girl stereotypes? I was happy, though, so who cares what they think?

I made some of my best friends on bid day, but I didn’t know it then. I made friends who became my roommates this year and the people I go to when I am overwhelmed with journalism homework. They are some of the smartest people I know, which is something that the stereotypes don’t let you see. The all-Greek female GPA is higher than the all-women GPA here at the University of Maryland, and I am so proud to be a part of it. I am surrounded by amazingly accomplished women and as the academic achievement chair for my sorority, I get to see firsthand all of their amazing academic successes.

I have never had sisters, and definitely never thought I would be the girl to refer to her sorority friends as her sisters. Now I find myself doing it all of the time (although I do often have to clarify because I have no biological sisters).

And now you can find a good portion of my time being taken up by planning events, running study hours, and working to make sure my sisters succeed academically. You can also find me hanging out with my sisters in the TV room watching marathons of bad reality TV or up late studying for a big test. No matter what we are doing, it’s just nice to have my sisters around.

I really didn’t understand the enormity of Greek life when I was rushing. I couldn’t understand that joining a sorority was joining a community and a sisterhood and, more importantly, a family. I joined for the people and I have truly found my people.

Julia Bryant is a Freshman Multi-Platform Journalism Major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland with plans to double major in French studies. She is also an avid member of both the Club Swim Team and Maryland Triathlon Team. She hopes to one day work for National Public Radio as a political correspondent! 
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